It should go without saying in the 21st century but, what a woman wears is never an invitation for rape.
Despite that obvious fact, there’s clearly still a large number of people left in the world that believe the opposite, including one Facebook user named David Alzayer.
Laurah Lukin, a professor at the University of Cincinnati, recently became the victim of some nasty comments written by Alzayer after she was photographed running the Little Miami Half Marathon in her home state of Ohio.
Bearing in mind a half marathon is a whopping 13.1 miles and anyone in their right mind would want to wear something form-fitting and comfortable — and Lukin did exactly that.
But after running the race, Lukin woke up to a notification on Facebook.
She’d been tagged in a photo and a stranger, Alzayer, had replied to someone complimenting her muscles.
“That’s because she doesn’t have any damn clothes on and she’s running for her life,” he wrote.
“No wonder joggers get raped,” he added.
Lukin immediately started to think about how to respond to the man and has since posted a number of empowering responses to the comment.
In a post to her website Lao Tong Pride, Lukin said she was “speechless” and was sad that her first thought was to defend her choice of attire to the random man.
“I was immediately disappointed that my gut reaction to this man’s horrific comments was to defend my wardrobe choice. After all, there were photos from the race of shirtless men, men in short shorts, men in tight shorts; yet he did not feel motivated to comment on their potential for inviting sexual assault,” she wrote.
Lukin, who is also a mother, explained she couldn’t not address his behavior.
“It is not my responsibility to choose a race outfit or workout apparel to deter the temptation of men. The length of my shorts is not an indication of interest, invitation or consent,” she wrote.
“NOBODY asks to be raped,” she added.
The anthropologist and medical student tried to understand his comments, eventually realizing it came down to rape culture.
“For him, redirecting blame to women is easier than confronting the societal problem of rape, which is far bigger than just a pervasive cultural myth,” she wrote.
“These statements only provide rapists what they’re looking for: an excuse for violence. And while this man may believe his comments qualify as a lesson in how to behave, It only propagates an ignorant, dangerous agenda and further justifies this hateful and disturbing behavior.”
Lukin has since written for a number of other sites including Runner’s World and Women’s Running Magazine.
And despite receiving a tidal wave of support, it hasn’t stopped Alzayer, the original commenter, from adding more fuel to the fire.
“You delicate little snowflakes, so easily offended,” he responded to Lukin’s original post, to which she had a brilliant response.
“I hope that by speaking out, others will be encouraged to speak out as well and help change that culture, because with enough snowflakes, you can cause an avalanche that transforms the landscape,” she wrote.